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Island County Fair AUG 2014

The Island County Fair was last weekend. In spite of it having changed its name to the awkward and all-inclusive Whidbey Island area Fair, it is still the best little country fair around (I say, as if I’ve been to all the others).

We do our annual pilgrimage around all the animal and 4-H exhibits, and listen to the familiar refrain “welcome to our cow/horse/chicken/goat barn; if you have any questions please feel free to ask” which always makes me smile. We reminisce about the days of the “Barnyard Scramble” that our kids enjoyed a couple of times before it was finally decided that letting a bunch of small animals loose in an arena and allowing hordes of children to chase them until they catch one is probably not very good practice.

Whidbey Island Fair - vege animal.JPG

We walk through the agricultural exhibits where our daughter won a ribbon for her organically grown zucchini over 20 years ago. We see little piles of what were once a handful of home grown raspberries that have withered in the heat, but still have friendly, encouraging ribbons attached to them. There’s beautiful art and craft exhibits, and the commercial building where modern, digital businesses seem oddly out of place amongst the barns and horses and dust and carnival rides.

Then of course there’s the pigs, all shined up and ready to sell off as “organic pork” as advertised on Drewslist. They look so much more glossy and well-cared for than my pot-bellied pig Isabel, but since she’s the piggy who stayed home, that’s probably ok with her.

Whidbey Island Fair - this little piggy.JPG

We finish our rounds of the exhibits and then settle in for the Saturday night music event; this year it is a band doing “Eagles” covers, and very well too. As we sit up high in the bleachers, we see familiar faces and old friends walking by, and children who are transformed each year - they seem to reach a certain teen age where their looks and maturity change so rapidly, you can hardly recognize them.

Whidbey Island Fair.JPG

That happened a few weeks ago when I met a friend whose daughter I may not have recognized if she hadn’t been with her mother. She raced off suddenly and came back with a group of friends who all stood looking at us cheerfully and slightly expectantly while we continued chatting. We thought we were supposed to know who they were but felt bad we didn’t recognize them. The puzzle was solved when I ran into my friend’s daughter at a barbeque on my way to the fair. I asked her if we knew those girls and she laughed and replied that she had gone to get them to have them come and listen to my accent!

Thanks for listening…


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